Linda Buquet has an interesting read on the recent Google Venice Update, which among other things appears to have boosted local businesses’ ability to rank in the organic, non-Places results:

If my research is right and 75% of searches are for “cityless keywords” then this is a huge opportunity that didn’t exist before – to get your clients on page one EVEN IF they are outside the proximity radius, or have dupe problems or some other problem and can’t rank in Places. Now you have a shot at getting them in the local ORGANIC results.

Many of us started off with or used to primarily focus on Google Places. But now with blended results I assume most of us are focusing a lot more on organic SEO to help get high blended rankings. However lately we are faced with changes like the reduced local footprint (Some 7 packs now only showing 3 listings). Additionally many have noticed local queries that no longer show map based results at all – ONLY organic. So Venice presents more opportunities to get your client to rank on page one even IF you can’t get them in the local maps results.”

Or to put it another way, if Linda’s research is right, Venice presents less opportunities to get your local directory site to rank on page one because you can’t get them in the local maps results and you’re now being crowded out of the organic results by local businesses.

BTW check out the 1:52 mark in the video

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4 Response Comments

  • Daniel Hollerung  March 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Cannot agree more, this is another step in the right direction for Google and the wrong direction for IYPs. I see endless possibilities in creating geo-targeted landing pages for use in an effective Local SEO strategy.

  • Rosendo Cuyasen  March 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I researched on the matter and I see many updates from Google. As you have said in your article that organic to local map listing are overpowered sometimes. This could be a challenge for every SEO..

  • Brands Exposed  March 9, 2012 at 12:45 am

    This is a great release for lower level long tail searchers but Google still cant go target properly, I am sat in Liverpool UK today and Google think I am in Leeds!

    This still needs a lot of refining, I know I can change my location but the general unsavvy searcher will not.

    Also Google seem to be chucking in local results for bigger terms too now, “mortage broker” as a phrase brings up local results too now, but most mortgage brokers are only in the local listings due to directory advertising and do not even have a website.

    Sorry for the rant but this really still needs some work by Google

  • Raj Srivastav  May 3, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Once your own content is geo-targeted, you can move on to updating content that lives else where on the Internet.